A judge has scheduled a February 1 hearing to decide if Monmouth County may recount and recheck votes in four municipalities where an Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) technician’s faulty programming of voting machines led to the double counting of votes in the last election.
In the meantime, Steve Clayton will remain on the Ocean Township Board of Education. Clayton defeated incumbent Jeffrey Weinstein by 20 votes in November and took office earlier this month, but an informal retally now has Weinstein ahead by one vote.
The Monmouth County Board of Elections and the Superintendent of Elections asked for a court-ordered recount on Friday evening, three days after ES&S admitted a human error caused the election results to be certified incorrectly.
The state attorney general’s office filed the motion late today at the insistence of election officials and against the initial recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Susan Scott. The matter sought emergent relief.
Superior Court Judge David Bauman has set a deadline of 4 PM tomorrow for briefs to be filed, with opposition to the recount petition to be field no later than 4 PM on January 30. Bauman said that any reply must be in his hands by noon on January 30
Deputy Attorney General Dominic Giova asked the judge to delay the recount until after February 6 because the election board is busy with a special school election in Manasquan and a fire district election in Millstone on January 24. Manasquan has less than 4,000 voters and Millstone has almost 8,700 — about 2% of all votes in the county ; these elections typically draw extraordinarily low turnouts, which means roughly 2,000 votes on Election Day. Monmouth County processed 232,497 votes in Election Day last year.